Upper cabinet free kitchen design - Can you feel the freedom?


The picture is from the wonderful Henrybuilt kitchen collection, a company with many international awards based out of Seattle WA, with over 4,000 completed projects in every state of the US, Canada, Mexico and the Caribbean. You can learn all about it HERE

The 'One wall storage' system - as I call it - is a kitchen design where all or most of the worktop areas are upper-cabinet-free and all the storage cabinetry is usually placed either on one or two adjacent walls from top to bottom. The appliances are usually built in either in the counter-top in the case of the elements, or the wall unit in the case of the oven and fridge.

This arrangement creates not just a sense of more space and freedom, but it literally achieves it in practical ways. No more heavy upper cabinetry mass hanging over your face, no more unreachable upper cabinetry shelves collecting clutter of items you use infrequently if ever, no more oppressive feeling, no more poorly used counter-top areas.

This sort of design lends to a feeling of freedom, simplicity, clarity, neatness and consequently comfort, functionality, inspiration and satisfaction. It is usually accompanied by a lower cabinetry system consisting of mainly drawers of various sizes to accommodate for anything you may need to use at have at hand. From spices drawer, to can drawer, to deeper pan drawers, even plates and cups drawers or root vegetable drawers, bread drawers and so on.



As you can see on the picture above, sometimes shallow shelves are used instead of upper cabinets to accommodate for every day items one may need readily at hand during food preparation. 

At other times, a short and shallow kind of upper cabinet may be used if one does not want to have open shelves as in the picture below.



These short and narrow upper cabinets, are unobtrusive, light and functional. They offer storage space for what you need at the exact place you need it when preparing food. If you think about it, in the traditional upper cabinet kitchen design, only the lower or middle shelf is usually used and of those, the things that we need and use every single day could fit at just the lower level, all the rest being longer term storage items.

Well designed and organized drawers and cabinet interiors help keep things neat, easy to find and use.


Interactive wall panels can be designed and adjusted to fit your own personal preferences and needs.



The sky is the limit when there is imagination and creativity. Focusing and paying attention to a) how one wants and needs to function in their kitchen space, b) how they want to feel in it and c) their aesthetic preferences, are the three main components for a successful kitchen design.

If you cannot feel an expansive feeling of comfort and joy, have ease and efficiency of movement, feel inspired to create and work in your kitchen, chances are you are not happy with it as is and it could do with some changes and improvements.

Feel free to contact me to discuss possible solutions.